Smuggler Gets 30 Months in Prison in Wildlife Trafficking Case

March 25, 2015 - Arrested last year as part of Operation Crash, a continuing offensive to halt the illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns, Canadian antiques dealer Tony Guan was sentenced to 30 months in prison for smuggling rhino horn, elephant ivory and coral. Said Service Director Dan Ashe: "The illegal trade in rhinoceros horns is the number one threat tomany populations of African rhinos ... But global law enforcement cooperation through avenues such as the Fish and Wildlife Service's Operation Crash is bringing people like Guan to justice."

Press Release (DOJ) 

Sentencing Exhibit Part 1 

Sentencing Exhibit Part 2 

Service Lauds Ethiopia's Destruction of Ivory

March 24, 2015 - The Service commends the government of Ethiopia for its March 20, 2015, destruction of more than six tons of ivory, drawing international attention and demonstrating the country's commitment to fight global wildlife trafficking that now threatens the future of African elephants and other treasured species.

USFWS Statement 

Push Against Trafficking of Elephant Ivory Grows

March 13, 2015 -  Kenya and China are among the countries taking important steps in the fight against the trafficking of elephant ivory.On World Wildlife Day, Kenya burned 15 tons of ivory and said it would destroy the government’s ivory stockpile by the end of this year.China, meanwhile, announced that it has instituted a one-year ban on the import of some ivory carvings. 

Learn  more 

Service, Partners Fight Wildlife Crime

March 3, 2015 - Poaching and wildlife trafficking threaten some of the world's best known and most beloved species, including elephants and rhinos, as well as lesser-known species like the pangolin. On this World Wildlife Day, the Service joins partners around the world to show that we are #seriousaboutwildlifecrime. We're strengthening law enforcement efforts, coordinating domestically and internationally to combat wildlife trafficking, and in 2014 alone, the Service invested more than $15 million in wildlife security support worldwide. We hope you will join us, this World Wildlife Day and every day, to end the illegal wildlife trade.

Director's Blog

Implementation Plan for National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking Released
February 11, 2015 - The U.S. Departments of the Interior, Justice, and State have released the implementation plan for the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. Building upon the Strategy’s three objectives – strengthening enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife, and expanding international cooperation – the plan lays out next steps, identifies lead and participating agencies for each objective, and defines how progress will be measured.

Press Release
Implementation Plan
Director’s Blog
Fact Sheet

Wildlife Trafficking Featured at U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C.
August 4, 2014 - On August 4th at the first U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, held in Washington, D.C., African leaders took a strong stance against illegal wildlife trade. In a Signature event on "Combating Wildlife Trafficking" hosted by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, African leaders agreed to work with the U.S. to continue to strengthen regional and international cooperation. Read more about this event in our latest blog post. Watch the meeting here.

Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking Holds Third Public Meeting
06/09/2014 - The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking (Advisory Council), called upon by President Obama's Executive Order in 2013, held a third public meeting on Monday, June 9th, to consider recommendations for the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking (Task Force), discuss administrative topics, and hear public comments and questions. At this meeting, the Advisory Council adopted, by consensus, a set of recommendations to implement the National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking and has submitted these recommendations to the Task Force for consideration.

Listen to the audio of the meeting here. (Full transcript will be available soon)

Advisory Council Recommendations Submitted to the Presidential Task Forcepdf

June 9, 2014 Meeting Agendapdf

Service Takes Next Steps in Commercial Elephant Ivory Trade Ban
05/15/2014 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced two actions relating to commercial trade in elephant ivory. These actions will help ensure that domestic markets do not contribute to the decline of African elephants in the wild, while also allowing certain activities to continue that we do not believe are contributing to poaching or illegal trade. Click here for the full press release. Click here for the Ivory Ban Q & A.

Revisions to U.S. CITES Implementing Regulations
May 27, 2014 -   A final rule has been published revising the regulations that implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the United States. The revised regulations incorporate certain provisions adopted at the fourteenth and fifteenth meetings of the Conference of the Parties to CITES and clarify other provisions to help us more effectively promote species conservation and fulfill our responsibilities under the Treaty. For a summary of the revisions, click here. The revised regulations will be effective on June 26, 2014

Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking Announces Date for Third Public Meeting
05/06/2014 - The Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking, called upon by President Obama's Executive Order in 2013, will convene a third public meeting to consider recommendations for the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, discuss administrative topics, and hear public comments and questions. The meeting will be held on Monday, June 9, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time) at the U.S. General Services Administration Building at 1800 F Street NW, Room 1153, Washington, DC 20405.

For more information on participating in the meeting, or submitting questions or comments, please read the Federal Register notice.

Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking Holds Second Public Meeting
On March 20, 2014, Advisory Council members met to present recommendations on the implementation of the National Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking and to receive public comment regarding the National Strategy. Following discussion among Advisory Council members on the four major subcommittee areas, legal frameworks/reform, enforcement, communication/advocacy, and public/private partnerships, the Council listened to comments from the public. These included members of the antique and auction communities, museum curators, artists and musicians, representatives from non-government organizations, university students and other concerned members of the public. The next public meeting is scheduled for June, 2014.

Vice Chair David Hayes Video Summary

Federal Register - Notice of Public Meeting

Service Tightens Trade in Elephant Ivory
02/26/14- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a Director’s Order tightening controls on the trade of elephant ivory and other products made from protected species. The Order represents the first in a series of administrative actions to further restrict commercialization of elephant ivory as called for in the National Strategy on Combating Wildlife Trafficking. (read more)

The Order instructs Service employees to strictly implement and enforce the African Elephant Conservation Act moratorium on the importation of raw and worked African elephant ivory and also mandates similarly strict adherence to the criteria established in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for exempting antiques from that statute’s prohibitions on import, export, and interstate sale.

Shortly after signing the Director's Order, Dan Ashe, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking. The Department of State's Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones and the Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General Robert G. Dreher testified alongside Director Ashe, as representatives of the three co-chairing agencies of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking. (read less)